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In an indictment filed in Milwaukee County court on Friday, Robert Monroe, 50, of Shorewood, Wis., was charged with 13 felony counts of election fraud, each of which could carry up to three and a half years in prison, or a $10,000 fine, upon conviction. Monroe is accused of registering to vote in more than one place, voting where he didn't live, voting more than once in the same election, and providing false information to election officials.
The indictment said that Monroe, a health insurance executive, "became especially focused upon political issues and causes" in 2011 and 2012, and was particularly invested in the recall elections that followed the state's fight over public employees' collective bargaining rights. Monroe allegedly cast at least two ballots in three elections (an April 2011 Supreme Court election, an August 2011 state Senate recall election, and the 2012 presidential election) and cast five ballots in the state's June 2012 gubernatorial recall.
Monroe's attorney did not respond to a request for comment from TPM on Tuesday.
According to WisPolitics.com's Marie Rohde, who first reported about the Monroe indictment on Saturday, investigative documents that were recently released indicate Monroe was a supporter of both Walker and state Sen. Alberta Darling (R). (Wisconsin campaign finance records show that Monroe has given small amounts of money to Walker and Darling's campaign efforts in recent years.) Rohde also reported that when Monroe was confronted by investigators, he "claimed to have a form of temporary amnesia and did not recall the election day events."
The investigation began with suspicions not about Monroe, but about his son, Benjamin Monroe, who authorities thought double voted in the 2012 recall. At the time, Benjamin Monroe lived with his mother in Waukesha, Wis., where he voted, but authorities also received an absentee ballot with Benjamin Moore's name on it in Shorewood -- where his father lived. The investigation ultimately led them to the older Monroe. The indictment also lays out how Monroe allegedly managed to vote five times Walker's 2012 recall election:
• On May 23, Monroe allegedly cast an in-person absentee ballot in Milwaukee using his mother's old Milwaukee address.
• On May 31, the Shorewood Clerk's Office received an absentee ballot in Benjamin Monroe's name -- which Benjamin later denied filling out. (Investigators said they later found Robert Monroe's DNA on the absentee envelope.)
• On June 2, the Shorewood Clerk's Office received an absentee ballot in the name of Grant Mueller, the son of Robert Monroe's girlfriend -- which Mueller later denied filling out. (Investigators said they later found Robert Monroe's DNA on the absentee envelope.)
• On June 5, election day, Robert Monroe voted under his own name in Shorewood.
• The same day, Monroe voted under his own name in Milwaukee.
The indictment states that Monroe received an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2013, and has expressed interest in attending law school. According to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Monroe is not in custody, and his initial court appearance is scheduled for July 17.